Once Again, the Gruesome Twosome

One would think that after the votes were counted in last fall’s elections the majority of local politicians (and their backers) would quietly fade away. Generally speaking, South Dakota lawmakers are rarely seen when they’re not begging for votes.
That hasn’t been the case with two of the most controversial faces that made headlines all through the last half of 2006. While one of this pair was a winner in his personal campaign to remain in the state legislature, both of them shared the title of the biggest loser of that election.
Since then, they have both refused to accept the fact that majority of the state doesn’t agree with their opinion. I have to say that in some respects I sort of admire people with strong convictions, but one also has to deal with the real world. The only world either of these people will accept is one that believes in nothing other than their mandates.
Obviously, I’m talking about Roger Hunt and Leslee Unruh. As I said two weeks ago, one is the ying to the other’s yang. Neither can stay away from the TV cameras, and it’s simply embarrassing whenever their ugly mugs grace my television.  
Hunt is still in the news because of his controversial anonymous $750,000 donation to the anti-abortion movement. Despite the fact that our Republican Attorney General believes that he must name the source of this contribution, Hunt is still smug and whines that all these damned Satanists are picking on him.
In one of the silliest local TV appearances I’ve seen in years, Hunt went on KELO a few weeks ago to ask why pro-choice contributions aren’t given the same scrutiny as his sham corporation. KELO, in a rare moment of actual journalism, did checks on each of the companies Hunt pointed out and found that each of them were indeed real companies who actually did business.
Somehow, Hunt thinks that thriving corporations who donated a few hundred dollars should be investigated just as thoroughly as a corporation created just to establish a loophole. A corporation that had zero assets, no place of business, and…well, no method of business yet somehow funnels ¾ of a million bucks from an anonymous donor.
Seeming to sense that the public wasn’t falling for this b.s., Leslee Unruh packed on her inch-thick Mary Kay cosmetics and ran interference for her hero. On the first day that our legislature met (and possibly deal with Hunt’s indiscretions), Unruh called up her favorite TV station with what I’m sure she thought was a shocking development. This time, she even brought props.
Surrounded by boxes of returned mail (or at least one real box and a handful of phonies for show), Unruh complained that all of her returned propaganda was “proof” that the signatures that put the abortion bill on the ballot were fraudulent. Never mind that three times as many signatures than required were submitted. Never mind that Secretary of State Chris Nelson (a Republican) verified the required number of signatures. Never mind that the deadline had passed to contest the election. Never mind that some of these returned mailings could be from clerical errors or people who legally moved since the petitions were passed around last spring. All that mattered to Unruh is that her pal would not get any negative press that day.
Now Unruh has found another battle to fight, and this time she’s going after a man who she’s supported for years and years. In his State of the State address, Governor Mike Rounds unveiled a proposal to provide vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer to all South Dakota women from the ages of 11 to 18. This vaccination prevents a sexually transmitted disease called HPV, which can happen through any form of sexual contact.
If sex is involved, then Unruh just has to be against it. In her view, the administration of these shots immediately turns a pre-teen girl into a slut, regardless of whether it would save lives. (I thought “life” was all she cared about.) Plus, there has already been at least one case where a non-sexual HPV transmission occurred.
Governor Rounds is not the only Republican to be attacked by Unruh’s minions. When Pat Powers, who publishes the South Dakota War College blog, applauded Rounds plan the attack dogs came out in full force. Keep in mind that Powers has five daughters, three of whom fairly recently shared his pain when his mother succumbed to cancer. As he recently wrote, “one shot is not going to alter their values. They’re going to get their values from their family and church.” In a childhood filled with various vaccinations, it’s unlikely they’ll even know what this particular shot is for.
Instead of condemning this plan, people should actually be applauding Rounds…and trust me, this is not an easy thing for me to say. Besides the health benefits, this is one program that has received kudos from both Republicans and Democrats. In an era where the media wants us to believe that every American conveniently fits into one of two extreme categories, isn’t it refreshing to discover and highlight an issue that belongs to the mainstream majority?


Anonymous said…
Leslee Unruh is the “Tammy Faye Bakker” of South Dakota. She is all about money. She will sink her fangs into anyone if it will benefit her financially. The quickest way to derail Unruh is to take away her funding sources. This strategy worked on Bakker, it will work on Unruh.
Anonymous said…
And I want to say I never received a letter from Leslie Unruh. None of the signers I know did.
Hey, tonite I was blog surfing and all of a sudden I heard Paul singing. He's my favorite of All Time. I will come back and visit when I have more time. Do you mind if I add you to my favorites?
Scott said…
Of course you can add me.

Thanks for visiting!
I don't get all into politics and stuff, but you wrote this very nicely ;-)

Popular Posts